OBGYN Glossary

The following are a list of terms that may be used during the course of your OB/GYN care.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

V

Vacuum Extraction
Similar to forceps use, but instead using suction, this is a method for guiding the baby’s head out of the birth canal during delivery.

Vagina
The vagina is the passageway leading from the uterus to the body’s exterior genitalia (vulva).

Vaginal Atrophy
Usually a menopausal symptom, vaginal atrophy is the thinning and drying of vaginal and urethral tissues. This can lead to vaginitis, cystitis, pain during intercourse, and urinary tract infections.

Vaginal Discharge
Any number of fluids leaking or secreting from the vagina, vaginal discharge is one of the most common symptoms for gynecological problems, with any number of root causes.

Vaginal Hysterectomy
In this type of hysterectomy procedure, the uterus is removed through the vaginal opening; ovaries and fallopian tubes can be removed during this procedure as well.

Vaginal Prolapse
This is the result of the bulging of the top of the vagina into the lower vagina or even outside the vaginal opening. It can occur after a hysterectomy since the uterus is no longer there to support the vaginal vault.

Vaginal Ring (Nuva Ring)
The Nuva Ring is an FDA-approved vaginal contraceptive ring. Many women choose this as a form of contraception instead of the birth control pill.

Vaginal Ultrasound
There are many types of ultrasound exams. The vaginal ultrasound uses a special transducer that is designed specifically to be inserted into the vagina.

Vaginismus
Vaginismus is a painful spasm of the pubic muscles, including the lower vagina. It makes sexual penetration difficult or even impossible.

Vaginitis
Vaginal tissues can become red, swell, or become inflamed; this is called vaginitis, and often results from a bacterial infection, though there are several types of vaginitis:

  • Atrophic – generally occurs as a result of hormone levels decreasing due to menopause, which dries and thins vaginal tissue
  • Bacterial – caused by infection by bacteria, either naturally occurring in the vagina or introduced externally
  • Noninfectious – usually caused by an allergic reaction to vaginal sprays, douches, or spermicidal products; can also be caused by perfumed soaps, detergents, or fabric softeners
  • Viral – usually a result of herpes simplex virus or human papillomavirus

Vanishing Twin
This refers to the death of a twin within the first three months of a pregnancy that normally results in a normal single pregnancy. It is detected more often than in the past because of advanced tests in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Veins
Veins are the blood vessels that carry blood toward the heart, from the rest of the body, serving the opposite purpose of arteries.

VLDL
VLDL stands for “very low density lipoprotein.” Containing triglycerides and cholesterol, it becomes LDL in the blood and is one of the main risk factors for coronary heart disease.

Voiding
Another word for urination, voiding is passing urine from the body.

Vulva
The external female genital area, the vulva consists of two sets of labia, the labia minora and labia majora, the mons pubis, the clitoris and the vaginal opening.

Vulvitis
A symptom of other conditions but not a condition in and of itself, vulvitis is the inflammation of the external female sexual organs; it results from a number of diseases, infections, and allergies.

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